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08/11/09 9:38 PM ET
Rios could play all three outfield spots
White Sox newest player joins team, not in starting lineup
By Christian Caple / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- Awake for about 15 hours already and likely a bit jet-lagged, Alex Rios was left out of the White Sox lineup against the Mariners on Tuesday night. But he was in Seattle and in uniform, addressing reporters in the visitors' dugout for the first time as a member of the White Sox. "I got up about 5 a.m. [ET] to fly back from New York, so I'm a little tired," Rios said. "But it feels great. I'm with the White Sox now, and it feels great." Rios was claimed off waivers by the White Sox on Monday from Toronto -- along with his nearly $70 million remaining on a contract that runs through 2014, with a club option for 2015. He was in New York with the Blue Jays preparing to play the Yankees when he heard the news. He said once the non-waiver Trade Deadline passed on July 31, he didn't expect to be leaving the Blue Jays this season. But that doesn't mean his departure from Toronto was necessarily a surprise. "I think I was in a lot of rumors years before, so I don't think it was a surprise for me," Rios said. "I saw it coming at some point in my career, but what can you do about it, you know?" Rios figures to be an everyday player for the Sox at one of the outfield positions. He's shown the ability to play all three positions, though he primarily played right field for the Jays this season. "I think Alex has to understand -- I know he has played right field most of his career with the Jays," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Talking about our situation, talked to him about our players, he's got to help me in different ways. I might play him in left field, center field, right field. I might not do it every day, it's just to make sure everyone here gets some playing time." There's also the question of where Rios fits into the batting order. Guillen said it's possible he could bat first when the regular leadoff man, center fielder Scott Podsednik, is out of the lineup. "He did in the past," Guillen said. "I wish I could keep him hitting in one spot and leave him there. When [Podsednik] is not there we have to figure out who will hit leadoff. It can be [Jayson] Nix or it can be him. Those are the two guys we have in mind." Rios is just ready to play baseball. "I think it'll take a little time to get to know everybody and get comfortable, but besides that, it's baseball," Rios said. "You have to get to play out there, and that'll take care of itself."
Christian Caple is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.